Upcoming Exhibit – Lauren Kirchner : IMAGO ANIMI

April 3, 2012

Lauren Kirchner : IMAGO ANIMI

April 21 through June 2, 2012

Opening Reception: April 21, 5:30-8PM

Lauren Kirchner, Meditatione Animi I, 2012, ink on paper, 28 by 48 in. http://startgallerydallas.com

Lauren Kirchner, Meditatione Animi I, 2012, ink on paper, 28 by 48 in.

Start Gallery Dallas is pleased to present IMAGO ANIMI (Image of the Mind), an exhibition featuring large-scale prints and print installations by Lauren Kirchner, on display from April 21 through June 2, 2012, with an artist’s reception on April 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All that is human rests within our brain. This irreplaceable, yet enigmatic organ is not only responsible for our daily functions, but is also the home of our personality, emotions, and abilities. Out of roughly 85 billion neurons, only a small fraction is understood and mapped. Additionally, the brain creates new connections every second, defining us as individuals and connecting us to the greater scheme of humanity. Working from what is known about the human brain, Lauren Kirchner reconstructs and conceptualizes the patterns of neurons. Her lithographic prints form maps that interpret the images our most vital and enigmatic organ.

Kirchner’s printmaking techniques often derive from the way our brain functions. Just as neurons are created through the copying of parent cells, Kirchner produces prints in different colors and layers using the same matrix. She then flips and mirrors these layers to create a kaleidoscopic effect, resulting in depth and complexity within the print. For example, Meditatione Animi I consists of a seven run print on paper; a monoprint, lithographs, and a silkscreen. These layers are cut by hand into a shape resembling a brain scan. Rather than a sterile, digitized perfection, the image is interpreted artistically with the human hand, and is delightfully interrupted by asymmetries of cut and line.

The largest work in the series, COGITATIO (Thought) is presented as a site-specific installation, or “printstallation,” where the elements in the installation are made using printmaking processes. A neuron-like motif, printed on mirrored vinyl, is attached to the gallery wall. Cotton and polyester cords extend from the edges of the print and attach to the surrounding ceiling beams and columns. The converging clusters of taut cords mimic the neuron patterns seen throughout the exhibit, and expand the print in space, inviting the viewer to enter.

IMAGO ANIMI is Kirchner’s Master of Fine Arts exhibition, and is the culmination of a long artistic journey. Kirchner, who came from an undergraduate program that emphasized manual processes, struggled to thrive in a professional printing world dominated by digital methods. The seeming obsolescence of her printmaking skills caused her to question her purpose and direction. The works from CONTEXTUS, Kirchner’s Master of Arts show, exemplified her introspective period by melding square “pixel” forms with intricate lithographs, embroidery, and installation techniques, all painstakingly created by hand.

After working and studying with master printers around the United States, Kirchner has reached a new conclusion in her latest art works: that which separates humans from machines, and justifies our value, is the brain and its endless potential. Technology, for all its wonders, advances only as fast as human ability to create it. Thus, IMAGO ANIMI represents the triumph of the human mind and a synthesis of Kirchner’s artistic ideas.

Lauren Kirchner received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2008. Following her graduation, she worked at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, Anchor Graphics in Chicago, Illinois, and the Anderson Ranch Art Center and Anderson Ranch Editions in Snowmass Village, Colorado. Kirchner moved to the DFW area to pursue further education at the University of Dallas, and received her Master of Arts in Printmaking in 2010. Start Gallery Dallas is proud to host Kirchner’s thesis for a Master of Fine Arts.

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